My earliest experience of working with clay was when, at the young age of 10, I
accompanied my Father to Saturday’s BCTV’s morning “Ron Delorme Show”.
We were demonstrating how to make hand-built pinch pots. I accidentally
dropped my metal spoon on the cement studio floor (clang, clang) and distinctly
remember looking at the floor manager’s face as he firmly motioned with his
index finger for me to get off my chair and pick it and continue while the camera
I believe this is where I developed a passion for working with my hands while
simultaneously being intrigued with the technological world of broadcast
Over the years I had opportunities to work with a variety of materials such as
plastics, resins, acrylics, co-polymers, thermal bodies, wood and metal. Several
undertakings have required me to apply this knowledge including sculptures that
would be impossible for any clay body to match.
I find working with porcelain very fulfilling. I enjoy its suppleness, it’s delicate
manner and the inherent malleable strength, allowing it to be easily transformed,
both in form and texture. The unique characteristics of porcelain make it the
perfect medium for exploring the subtle nuances and iconic humour of well
known, yet mundane topics, the silly metaphors and references that pop culture
embodies……but I digress!
In keeping with the enormous, all-encompassing influence of pop culture, I have
often wondered about the wacky and zany world of ACME products. In this
range of work, I used television as the armature to build onto. Of course my
intention is to provide a more complete and robust understanding of the very
nature of the ACME product world. As expected, I have included Wile E. Coyote
and the Road Runner standing to the side, pairing off (as per usual) with the
classic Road Runner victory (“beep, beep”)
A secondary but no less important point, is my ode to the world of television, by
placing super hero’s in, on and around their screen world, a world many of us
have grown up watching and enjoying!
Living with pain, as I do daily, is horrible—no joke!! Yet it is the very fuel that drives the
lighthearted, the comical and the farcical subjects of my artwork. I have found relief by
moving my mental focus away from this unpleasant stimulus and employing humour
and lightheartedness into my creations. Working with a fun and an absurd range of
topics provides much needed relief.
In 2018 I revisited ceramics, primarily as a means of therapy, where I would escape into
a world that I could imagine, construct and control. I could spend hours lost in this
alternative world, considering and injecting positive, uplifting, silly and off-centred
elements and characteristics into my sculptures.
These sculptures poke fun at pretty much everything and anything we find in popular
culture. In doing so, I offer a nostalgic trip down memory lane, revisiting the tropes that
were part of my childhood and adult life.
I have chosen to utilize my understanding of the influence of “pop culture” on western
society, while exploring avenues of the unexpected in unique, amusing and witty
approach. Admittedly, pop culture has shaped and continues to shape our beliefs,
attitudes and values. This influence can be seen in modes of entertainment such as
film, music, television, video games, sports, politics, fashion, technology and so on.
My work tends to construct and deconstruct this influence in an off-kilter way.
My creative cloud is an interdisciplinary combination of printmaking, photography,
graphics, ceramics, videography and production design. With this cross-disciplinary
approach I am able to pursue more integrative and transformative insights with one
discipline informing my practice in another. For example, my training and background
as a printmaker and photographer both influence and direct my trajectory. When I
begin a new project, I would use the “Hansel and Gretel” trail-making practice by
sketching, note-taking and photographing images at various times which allowed me
to re-visit various stages and possibly explore other directions as these images
enhanced and informed my decisions.
I have explored “Flintstone” themed appliances (that would easily be discovered in an
archeological dig in the town of Bedrock), such as telephones, SLR cameras, clocks,
and record players. My fixation on the off-centred, hilarious approach can be observed
in a return visit to my bas relief “Chicken Clock Series”. This series is appropriately
titled “Chickens Re-hatched”.
My most recent work delves into the image of the spinach can. The pieces present a
range of nonsensical compositions depicting a variety of spinach leaves as they erupt
from tin cans. I wanted to explore spinach as a laughable object, further blurring the
lines between humour, pop culture and the legacy and reputation of spinach.
Although “Popeye” is quite often shown to eat considerable amounts of canned
spinach, and “Popeye” and spinach are closely related to pop culture, my spinach paid
no consideration to “Popeye”. This was an unconscious decision on my part. Perhaps
my raison d’être was like so many other children of my time, we were told to eat our
spinach and be strong like “Popeye”. Could it be an unconscious message to be
strong in my predicament?
In keeping with the enormous, all-encompassing influence of pop culture, I plan to
continue to construct a selection of wacky and zany ACME products featuring Wile E.
Coyote and the Road Runner (“beep, beep”), eventually returning to parody and poke
fun at the superhero’s of the Saturday morning cartoons in the 1960-70’s by featuring
them in the television world that they embodied.
Although my intention and my work display a subtle yet rich sense of direction, one
that leads to a little chuckle or laugh, I often move beyond the jocularity, to a place
beyond the pain, to a place where I am able to fully appreciate the variety of life’s
experiences, where I am thankful, and know that I am abundantly blessed. “Yes, I love
this crazy life, but sometimes I wish it was a smoother ride”